DOTAS and Accelerated Payments – Latest

Background

The Government issued a consultation process in January 2014, in which they proposed that HMRC would be able to assess and collect the tax due on any DOTAS scheme irrespective of whether the scheme had been tested through the courts. They only allowed 4 weeks for consultation.

In the 2014 budget the Government then announced new legislation to collect tax on DOTAS schemes exactly in accordance with the consultation document, having ignored all the issues that accountants and our professional organisations raised.

Main issue

One of the main concerns was the apparent retrospective nature of the legislation, as it would be applied to all current, not just future, DOTAS schemes. Not surprisingly many taxpayers and tax advisors were pretty upset by the proposals

Reaction

We have actually seen and increase in people looking for tax planning ideas to mitigate tax just to meet the potential HMRC demand.

Latest

A glimmer of hope has now appeared on the horizon from the House of Commons Treasury Committee. It has just released a report into the 2014 Budget, which included the following statement:

“Retrospective tax legislation conflicts with the principles of tax policy recommended by this Committee. In our 2012 Budget Report we recommended that the Government restrict the use of retrospection to wholly exceptional circumstances………..[The accelerated payment proposals]…will retrospectively apply to some of the 65,000 outstanding tax avoidance cases..[and] the Government has yet to explain what is wholly exceptional about these cases that justifies this retrospective measure. It should do so in response to this Report…..”

 

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